Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Design and Composition Theory + Tips for Scrapbookers (a Mega post)

*Disclaimer: I am not a professional art critic, a judge of art shows, a PhD, nor do I hold a Maser of Fine Arts degree. I am an artistically inclined scrapbooker of 5+ years with a few college courses in art and design. Further, I'm an avid reader of just about any art, design and crafts books I could get my hands on. I am by no means trying to tell you how to scrapbook. 
The following list is a compilation of my own experience as a scrapbooker, as well as research into what scrapbook publication editors look for in selecting publishable work. All of this, merged with an ongoing quest for analyzing and breaking down artwork into design elements that either make or break the piece of work for me. Take my suggestions as "food for thought," not as set in stone "rules."

*[This is a Mega post, to view the entire post, please click on 'Read more' below].

1. The most important rule is not to be bound by rules. Following this list of tips will not guarantee a splendid piece of art. Sometimes breaking "the rules" will result in a more riveting piece of work. Know when to follow them, and know when to break them, but  break them with intention of conveying your unique message or vision to the audience, not because you didn't know any better.

2Focal point: This is the main item on a page that commands your attention first. Synonymous with Emphasis or visual weight- a principal of design , which in a composition refers to developing points of interest to pull the viewer's eye to important parts of the layout.
Pretend that I just gave you a photo or a scrapbook page, what did your eyes fixate on immediately? That item is your focal point — it is where the emphasis is placed. If your aim is to showcase the photo with the angelic face of your newborn, but the bright, colorful letters of the title command more attention, then you missed your goal--the title, not the photo, is the focal point. If you're in doubt whether some element is distracting from your photo, ask a family member, or a non-scrapbooker what is that they see first (the non-scrapbookers' opinion will not be swayed by the new must-have product on your page).

3. Photos: Think of photo selection for your multi-photo scrappy page as a casting call of actors for a movie you're producing. You have a leading man/lady (your focal/main photo), and the rest are supporting actors and actresses (other photos and/or embellishments that support the story you are telling). Having a designated focal photo is comforting for the viewer's eyes--it tells the subject where to look first, and what you deem to be the most important aspect of this page. On the contrary, imagine if all your photos where the same color, size, and of the same subject, composed in a very similar fashion. The viewer's eyes jump from photo to photo trying to decipher which one is the most significant, and that is visually frustrating. 
One of the most common pitfalls of beginner scrapbookers is a lack of a focal photo in a multi-photo layout. For example, you have two almost identical color shots of your daughter in her summer dress. In one of them she's smiling a bit more, and in the other, she's got her eyebrows raised with an amused look on her face. Your mother's heart can't decide between the two, so you glue both of them on a page. It would make a more compelling layout if you pick only one of the two similar photos as the focal photo, and the rest of the photos be detail, close-up shots of the ruffles in her dress, her chubby hands, toes, and summer hat. Think of capturing not only a head-to-toe shot of your subject, but also the bits and pieces that would tell a more complete story visually.

  • How to designate a focal photo? Make it larger than the rest of the photos; Convert the photo to black and white, or sepia, leaving the other photos in color, or vice versa; Mat the photo with a border, leaving the other photo(s) without a mat, or mat the photo with a color border while leaving the other photos with a neutral (black or black) border/mat; Cluster embellishments around the main photo only, making a frame of sorts; Place the title directly on the empty space of one of the photos. Generally, anything you can do to make a photo visually stand out from the rest, will make it a focal photo.
  • A focal point within a focal photo: a). I bet you've seen the very popular wedding photography technique of converting the photo to black and white, but leaving the flower bouquet in full color. This technique can be done with a multitude of photo editing programs, and it's a very effective method for drawing the viewer's attention straight to the most significant part of the photo. However, be warned that it's also a technique that in 5 years might make your photos look very outdated. Lately, I've seen a lot of layouts with portrait photos where the face has been converted to black and white, leaving the glowing blue or green eyes in color. I can't argue that it draws the viewer's attention to the eyes, but personally, it also looks unnatural and very alien-like, because the human eye does not naturally see people this way. It might be a fun technique to try on a few photos, but you won't see me getting carried away with it ;) b) Another great way to accentuate a focal point within a photo is to use {} brackets around the focal object (for example, if your son in the photo is holding a frog in his hand, to draw emphasis to the frog, you can frame the frog with chipboard brackets directly on the photo). Also, the use of arrow embellishments, even photo corners can effectively lead the eye to the main point in your photo.
  • Where should the photo(s) be placed on a page? Typically, I place my photos, so that the eyes of my subjects in the photos gaze toward the center of the page.  Conversely, if you place the photo on the edge of the page with the subject's eyes looking out of the page, the viewer's eyes will also follow the subject's gaze out of the page. This is extremely undesirable, since the aim of your page is to keep the viewer's eyes roaming inside the layout, not out. If the subject in the photo is looking upward, I would place my photo in the lower half of the page to give the illusion of space, and perhaps I'd place some relevant elements at the top half of the page for my subject to look at. Also follow the *"Rule of Thirds" for your photo placement (*mentioned ahead).
  • To crop or not to crop a photo? Do not crop original, one-of-a-kind photos. Make copies first, and then crop away and experiment with the latest scrapbooking techniques 'till your heart is content. This is highly subjective, but there are some things I would not do to my photos: Cut them in cute animal shapes, or use a variety of decorative edge scissors on the actual photos (but I do use the deco scissors on photo mats). All of the previously mentioned techniques were the rage in the late 80s--early 90's, and they tend to make the layouts seem dated now. 
  • Cropping with your camera: Many photography books suggest cropping the "unnecessary" environment or household clutter so as not to detract from the subject, and I think its great advice for taking portraits. Surfing scrapbooking galleries, I've noticed a proliferation of mostly close-up shots of kids' faces. However, the environment in which we live, grow and spend our family time, as well as our toys and material possessions deserve just as much attention in our scrapbooks. The environment and things that surround us, places us in a historical timeframe. Recently I took a photo of my sons watching TV together, making sure that the TV was in focus. In the far future, when looking back at this photo, I could just hear one of them telling me: "Wow! That widescreen TV is so outdated, remember we watched cartoons on that television!" I strive to maintain a balance between close-up portraits and environment shots to tell a more complete story of our family's life.
4. Rule of Thirds: (images here), [from Wikipedia] is a compositional rule of thumb in visual arts such as painting, photography and design. The rule states that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.

5. Visual triangles: An arrangement of embellishments, colors, patterned paper, photos and/or other elements in a triangle; Visual triangles are aesthetically pleasing to our eyes, and also serve to frame or highlight the focal point of the layout. Get in a habit of seeing the use of visual triangles in the scrapbooks pages of other artists.

6. Color: What is the mood and theme of the photos or your scrapbooking layout? Colors convey emotions, for example: "I'm feeling blue", or "red-eye flight". So if your page is about the volatile temper-tantrum stage of your toddler, a selection of soft pastel colors would not communicate this theme as well as bold, bright hues of color. Use color effectively to support the feelings or emotions you are conveying through your artwork. 
As a beginner scrapbooker, the safest method for picking colors for your page is "pulling" colors from your photos, or using contrasts of the photo colors. Another great suggestion is to utilize numerous online Color Palette Generators, which suggest colors based on the photo that you upload. Finally, a very useful reference book that contains over 1100 unique color combinations is Jim Krause's Color Index. When I'm get stuck in a color rut, the Color Index always provides numerous creative color combinations.

7. Color balance - The gallon/ quart/ pint rule: A proven method for achieving proportional color balance for your page is to select three colors in the 3:2:1 quantity ratio: The dominant color is the largest amount of the color (gallon:3), medium amount (quart:2), and the accent color/smallest amount (pint:1).
If your page looks dull, and the colors seem to merge visually, try to add an accent, brighter or contrasting color to liven up the overall color scheme.

8. Lines: Can be two-dimensional, like a pencil mark on paper,  the font of the printed text or alphabet stamps you choose, or the stripes in the patterned paper. Examples of three dimensional lines include: the lines in your embellishments (think a flower's stem, a wire, or an arrow embellishment), or the edges of the photo mat (whether it is straight, or cut with decorative edge scissors), and also on your layout the lines created where the patterned or solid paper edges meet. Lines in your layout act as trajectories moving the viewer's eyes along its path. It is important to notice how the use, and strategic placement of lines either move the viewer's eyes toward the focal point of your page, or perhaps undesirably, out of your page. When using striped patterned paper, be aware of whether the stripes (horizontally or vertically placed) are leading toward the main photo or away. Lines also carry implied associations:
  •  ~~~~Wavy and curvy UUU lines are generally thought to be soft, calming, organic, and feminine.
  • ^^^^Lines with sharp edges convey more of a masculine, dynamic, energetic, sharp, harsh, conservative, and a manufactured look. 
9. How to effectively use lines in scrapbooking? Generally, if you're scrapping a feminine or a baby-themed (boy or girl) page, consider rounding the corners of your photos or papers. Choose decorative scissors and border punches that are scalloped. Look for patterned papers that have circular and organic shapes (there's a reason why floral papers are typically considered feminine). Conversely, if the subject of your page is a male, or you are portraying an energetic and dynamic subject-matter, then incorporate the use of straight or jagged lines such as: striped patterned paper, zig-zag decorative edge scissor use, or stitching.

10. Visual pathways/Visual scanning: is the line pattern of eye movements made when looking at a layout. In western culture, our eyes read from left to right orientation. This pattern may also be effectively applied to the design of scrapbook pages. 

  • It is believed that 'S' and 'Z' placement of elements provides natural flow for optimal visual scanning. 
  • The aim of a well designed layout is to provide a road map for the viewer, in effect directing them: "I want you to look here first, then notice this, then finally look there". A well designed page makes the viewer linger longer, taking in all the details, and you should want your viewer/audience to spend more time looking at and admiring your artwork ;)

*For example, consider this sketch by Pencil Lines:
In green, I have marked the visual pathway of scanning a layout in an "S" format: Starting in the upper part of the page with the title, then moving on to the focal photo, secondary photo and finally the journaling. 
Next time you design a page, ask yourself: Which element do I want my viewers to notice 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on? In this example, the viewer gets a sense about the overall theme of the page form the title, then moves on to the main photo, then the supporting photo and finally reads the journaling which tells the complete story--a very effective road map, indeed!

11. White space/negative space: The "white" in white space does not mean the color white, but rather it is a space on your page or photo that is empty--void of elements. If you divide a layout into quarters, generally, I strive to leave at least 1/4 space on my layout as white space. In this space you will not find any embellishments or photos, just the background paper. Use of white space is extremely important for a layout, in that it provides the viewer's eyes a spot to rest from all the visual input.

12. Being odd is good: Cluster smaller embellishments into groups of 3 or 5. There must be some scientific explanation why odd number groupings are aesthetically more pleasing to our eyes, but I will not get too scientific here.

13. Provide a foundation for the elements of your page: Avoid random, scattered placement of your photos and embellishments, which will make all the elements seem like they are floating on your page, thus resulting in visual chaos.
Every element should have a visual anchor with something else on the page. Similar or relating elements should be grouped together in close proximity. When items are clustered close to each other, our eyes process them as one visual unit, and that is visually comforting.
For example, to provide a foundation for a photo, you may place a border, ribbon, or a cluster of embellishments underneath it.

14. It's not hip to be square (that is, for the edges of your page): Consider letting elements overlap, or step over the edges of your page. You may have to trim or fold over your papers or embellishments along the edges, so that the page would fit into a page protector. But in doing so,  you will give the appearance that the elements are continuing into space beyond the confines of the page's perimeter. For instance, in this layout titled Here's Looking at You Kid, notice how I placed the bubbles on the edges of the page giving the illusion that they are floating off into space.
Likewise, don't automatically reach for the square format as your layout base. Consider a round, scalloped-edge, or a multitude of other shapes for the foundation of your page. Lately, the scrapbooking industry has churned out some beautiful die cut paper shapes, but also consider using things around your house such as: large mailing envelopes, cardboard boxes, clear/color acetate sheets (acetate is acid-free), fabric, etc. Just about anything can be used as a base for your page.
*Another common technique is to let elements go over the edges of the page without trimming them, but cutting off the equivalent width off the opposite side, so that the page would still measure 12"x12," and fit into the page protector.

15. Texture: refers to the "feel" and surface quality of the object(s) on your layout. Use of texture is one way to invite the reader to touch your page and examine it more closely. Perhaps mine is a biased opinion, but I really appreciate layers of texture in a layout. The appeal of three dimensional elements and the ability to touch them, is the reason I would find it impossible to convert to all digital scrapbooking. You don't have to go overboard with texture to spice up your layout. Even a minimalist, simple style layout would benefit from small doses of texture; Think of perhaps stitching a border around your page's perimeter, or around the photos. Also, stitching along the lines where your papers connect would give your page a more detailed, polished look.

16. Variety: is the different elements on your body of work. Variety is achieved by including different textures, shapes, colors, and other elements. In doing so, you give the viewer's eyes more to look at, and as result the viewer will spend more time looking at your layout. Like the saying goes: Variety is the spice of life!

17. Repetition: Repeat texture, color, shapes, embellishments, and patterned paper for a more cohesive layout. Typically, if I use x-element (paper or embellishment) on the top half of the layout, I will also use x-element on the lower half of the layout. If I use it on the right side of the page, I'll try to use the same element on the left side. Repetition gives a page a sense of balance.

18. Harmony: in your artwork is achieved by using similar elements throughout the work. Harmony, is a sense that everything on the page is related and belongs there. For example, consider a vintage-style, heavily distressed layout. Yet on half of the page, I placed a very modern, bright colored, geometric print patterned paper. Harmony would be lost because your eyes automatically notice that the two styles clash. The opposite of harmony is dissonance, which is effectively used in artwork themes that aim to contradict the status quo, or societal norms.

19. Balance: is a sense of stability in your layout. Balance can be achieved by repeating the same shapes or by creating equal visual weight. For example, this Page Map:
Notice how the large focal photo on the right side of the page is balanced by a grouping of 3 smaller photos and a journaling box on the left side of the page? Balance is achieved by juxtaposing a larger object against a grouping of smaller objects that take up about the same amount of space on a page.

20. Color/value weight:
[For the following exercise above, consider both diagrams as two 12" x 12" pages, or as a two page layout]. In both diagrams, which half of each page looks heavier and more solid: the top or bottom of the page? If you answered that the black half looks heavier and more solid, that is the correct answer.

Visually, darker colors and values look more solid, and thus, heavier than lighter colors and values.
How does this knowledge apply to scrapbooking?
If you want to give the elements on your page a foundation, then it would make more sense to place darker colors and all, or most, of the elements on the lower half of the page.
Conversely, if your aim is to make the page airy with the photo(s) and other elements suspended on the page, then place your elements in the middle or the upper half of the page.
For instance, in my layout 'goofballs', notice how the placement of the photos and embellishments in the upper half of the page gives the appearance of them floating in space (the effect I was going for with this outer-space themed page). If I had placed the elements on the lower half of the page it would appear as if they are grounded.

21. Check your alignment: Alignment refers to the placement of elements on your page. It may be symmetrical, asymmetrical, straight, or tilted. For example, a layout about your rambunctious toddler or pet would look better with tilted photos, and letters in the title, as well as more carefree arrangement of embellishments, because youth and pets are synonymous with haphazard energy.
Oppositely, a page about your conservative uncle, who is a minister, would look more appropriate if the elements maintain straight alignment.
*Asymmetry and tilted elements convey a sense of dynamic energy, youth, casualness, and informality. *Symmetry and/or straight alignment of elements convey order, stability, reliability and conservatism.
For example, in this layout titled My Hero, notice how I tilted all the elements on the page to give the impression of Superman's dynamic energy as he is launching off into the sky.
*Tilting of the page's elements would also work for numerous other themes: kids on a swing set, amusement park rides, sport pages, kids tumbling and doing cartwheels...these are just a few ideas.

22. Titles: The are no rules that a layout must have a title, after all, sometimes a photo speaks a thousand words. However, a great layout title is like a great title of a book--it peaks your interest to open the cover and read the whole story. If I may share only one suggestion, it is this--please let your title tell me something that is not clearly evident by looking at the photo alone. For example, consider a photo of my grandmother at the farm, holding a hen. A boring title would be: Grandma's hen. A better title would be: Life lessons from the coop. The first title is redundant because it states that which can be gathered from the photo alone. The second title engages the reader with possible questions: "What lessons does this elderly woman have to share with me?, Did she grow up on the farm raising chickens?" With a more intriguing title, the viewer is more likely to want to read the journaling.

In addition, a great method for achieving interesting titles is to use play on words. For example an Easter-themed title would have more panache as "An 'Egg'stra Special Day, versus "An Extra Special Day". Also, movie and song titles, as well as lyrics lend themselves well to layout titles because they are short, clever, catchy, and well recognized by others.

23. Journaling: Statistically this is the one part of scrapbooking that scrappers dread the most. I truly believe you don't have to be a great writer to write great journaling! My suggestion for overcoming writers block is - write like you speak.
Ali Edwards, an advocate of photojournalistic style of scrapbooking, exemplifies this approach. Ali's journaling is full of expressions she uses, such as: "OK, cool, awesome!"
When you write like you speak, you let the reader get to know the real you: whether you are casual, light-hearted, funny or more on the serious side. Your journaling should not be a place to show off your vast vocabulary (unless, of course, you normally use "big words"). Personally, I would not want my sons to read their scrapbook pages and say: "That does not sound like mom wrote this... She does not talk like that!". I encourage you to be real in your style of writing, and if you use slang, or some other expressions that only your family and friends understand, include that in your journaling to make it authentically YOU!
Apart from the fact that it is difficult for many to bear their feelings on paper, I am speculating that another reason why many scrapper's do not enjoy journaling, is that they feel the reader audience will be judging them. Truthfully, your grammar teacher from 4th grade will not be grading your grammar. However, if you are submitting your work for consideration to be published, then it's in your best interest to spell-check.
Finally, if revealing the journaling still makes you uncomfortable, you can write a note or letter, and secure it to the underside of the page, or make a pocket/envelope to tuck the journaling tag into.
It is unlikely that every photo and/or layout will provoke deep, sentimental journaling. Still, I personally strive to maintain a balance between decorative layouts with little journaling, and those that tell the important stories of our family life.

24. Making Journaling more Meaningful: So you have your photo(s) selected but don't know what to write about? For this example, let's say the photos are vacation shots of your kids playing in the sand. Generic and superficial journaling that one would see on a cover layout of a scrapbooking magazine, would read: "You two had so much fun playing in the sand". To make the journaling more meaningful consider writing about:
  • Is this vacation location an annual tradition, or are you first time visitors?
  • If this is your child's first time at the beach, how did he react upon seeing the ocean?
  • Did your child cry for an hour because he was scared of the ocean, before you took those smiling and playing in the sand shots? (mention negative reactions too).
  • Did you have to save and cut back in other expenses for a whole year, so you would be able to afford this trip?
  • Compare and contrast how you as a child vacationed with your family, versus how you vacation with your children now.
This is just a possible list of ideas that would infuse your writing with more meaning. The meaningful is always beneath the surface of the obvious information that can be seen in the photographs--dig deeper!

25. Journaling: In which person-tense should I write in?
When you write your journaling which person-tense should be used? There is no "rule" about that, so I will share with you what makes sense to me (please note that this is highly subjective).
  • First person-tense journaling: Use of the pronoun "I". For example, pretend that I am scrapping a photo of my crawling baby Adam, and in a thought bubble above his head, my journaling reads: They have no idea what mess I just made around the corner, ha ha! This is my least favorite form of journaling when writing about other people beside myself, because it presumes to know what the subject is thinking and feeling (also, it reminds me of those e-Trade commercials where the babies' moving mouths are voiced over with adult conversation). It just doesn't work for me ;)
  • Second person-tense journaling: Use of pronoun "You." For example: Adam, you crawled around the couch with marker marks on your face, still grinning. This type of writing fits my style of writing because it is the most informal, and places me as an intimate observer of our family events. When I write my journaling, it is like I am writing a letter to that person.  Therefore, I usually start with: "Adam, You were doing X."
  • Third person-tense journaling: Use of the pronoun "He/She". For example: He crawled around the couch with a big grin on his face. This form of writing is very journalist-minded type. Third person-tense, along with second person-tense type of journaling, makes the writer an observer and note-taker of the facts, activity and actions. It does not presume to know what the subject is thinking or feeling. 
*My journaling person-tense is always either in the second or third person.

26. Styles of scrapbooking: Clean & Simple, Vintage, Romantic Shabby chick, Free Style, Art journaling, etc. 

27. The rule of gallon : quart : pint for patterned paper selection: 

The 3:2:1 ratio, also known as the Gallon: Quart: Pint rule, applies to the scale of patterned paper print, NOT the quantity of patterned paper used on a layout (as in the 3:2:1 color balance ratio mentioned above).
Using a large scale print, paired with a medium, and a small print will provide a sense of pattern variety to your layout. [Patterned paper photo above, from left to right: large(gallon), medium(quart), and small(pint) prints.]

28. Tips for scrapping with patterned paper:
  • Coordinating patterned paper prints: A guaranteed match would be to use papers from the same paper pack collection, or from a monthly kit club. Patterned papers in kits have already been matched and selected to coordinate with each other. If combining different patterned paper lines, look for common, shared colors that are present in the papers you have chosen for your project.
  • Don't shy away from using large scale or busy patterned paper. To help photos stand out from such patterned paper, first mat them on solid card stock, or paint a solid block of acrylic paint color over the patterned paper.
  • To soften up the rigidity of striped paper, think of combining it with a polka dot, or floral print.
  • Cut motifs from patterned paper to use as embellishments for your page. I like to also trace the cut motif on chipboard and when cut out, to glue them together for a unique chipboard accent.
  • If the patterned paper is two-sided, fold the edge, and secure with a staple, brad, button, or stitching, so as to show off both sides of the paper.
29. Must-have books for scrapbookers (from a self-professed idea book junkie  who has more art and craft books than her local public library:)
  • Scrapbooking Life's Little Moments by Rebecca Sower: This is the book that made me fall in love with scrapbooking. Rebecca's style is timeless, even if the product may be outdated now. She has a gift for words and writing the most meaningful and soulful journaling for life's 'little moments'. The author gives plenty of prompts of how to add emotion to one's journaling. This book has been read and reread by me many times.
  • Ali Edwards: my favorites are:
  1. A Designer's Eye for Scrapbooking
  2. A Designer's Eye 2 - Patterned Paper
  3. Life Artist
    • Autumn Leaves Designing with...series of books: gorgeous collections of eye-candy pages. Except for the Designing with Recipe book, the books are phenomenally photographed galleries of work with not a lot of, or no step-by-step directions. May not be for a beginner skill level, but the pages are sure to inspire anyone to create beautiful scrapbook pages!
    30. General Tips for Scrapbookers:
    • Keep an idea file for when you hit a creative dry spell. I have an inspiration binder where I collect magazine clippings, ads, cool techniques I want to try out, notes and sketches for possible pages.
    • Keep a box for ephemera and other 'junk' treasures; Using ticket stubs, garment tags, bottle caps, trim from gift bags, etc. is a great way to customize your pages, and also you're recycling!
    • If you are a beginner, start with pre-made sketches which will guarantee a good design. A few great sketch sites are: Pencil Lines and Page Maps.
    • Participate in online contests, challenges and dares. It never fails to inspire me, because it provides a concrete jumping-off point by setting a specific theme or product usage. It also gets me out of my comfort zone to try different formats, styles, and techniques of scrapbooking. Here's a master link to all the scrapbook challenges.
    • Redefine the word 'scrapbooking'. Not only is it the glueing and cutting of paper, but also the 15 minutes you spend on uploading or editing your photos, the writing down of what your toddler told you so that you may use it for a future layout, and even surfing online scrapbook galleries for inspiration--all contribute to getting you to the finish line of a completed project.  I'm a big believer in the power of 15 minutes as a momentum starter. The #1 reason why people don't take up scrapbooking is "lack of time". Comitting to only 15 min. a day will make you more focused, and as a bonus, upon seeing results,  you'll pick up inertia to see the project to completion.
    • Don't feel like you have to scrap all the photos, or scrap them in a chronological order. Doing so will make scrapbooking an obligation, not fun. I scrap whatever photos speak to me at the moment, and beg that their story be told. Even though my timeline is scattered, when all is considered, I am still telling a complete story of our life, and have many pages in my album.
    • Do not pressure yourself to find your style of scrapbooking. I've been scrapping since late 2004 and I still do not have a set style, or perhaps I do--eclectic :)
    • Believe that you are a creative artist and storyteller, and if it wasn't for your pages, your story would not be told. Picasso said, "Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain one once we grow up". Don't lose your inner child! 
    • Have FUN! If you start feeling down on yourself that your pages are "not good enough,"or you feel overwhelmed with product or design selection for your pages, go back to your core question: "Why do I scrapbook? The compass to my scrapping priorities is to reread the afore-mentioned books, and to look through my prior body of work and ask myself: "Am I telling the story sufficiently, and am I still having fun scrapping?"
    • Finally, believe what the opening photo in this post states: We're full of bright ideas! Starting out as a beginner scrapbooker can be very intimidating. I remember seeing the most breath-taking pages in online galleries, and feeling sorry for myself that I will never be able to make something of that level. Over the years with more experience, I am able to scrap the decorative decorative pages I once admired, however my priorities have shifted to from heavily decorated layouts, to telling the story in a more journalistic, intimate way. Allow some room for your own scrapbooking ideals and priorities to change and evolve.
    P.S. I realize this mega post is worth 30 separate posts, but if you have read it all, a  big thank you is in order! Stay tuned for this mega post to be broken down into individual topic posts, which will be combined with scrapping challenges ;)
    Hope to see your work!
      © Irma Peredne of Eclectic Fancies of Irma Peredne.


      Sypseniki said...

      waau kiek info pateikei :) apstulbau pamacius :) dabar reik uzsikaisti gera puodeli kavos ir bandyt verstis... nes labai naudinga info surasei :) saunuole :) labai tau aciu ;)

      Zivile said...

      Nerealu :) Ačiū dideliausias. Dabar visą darbo dieną kankinsiuos, norėdama perskaityt :)

      LINUTUKAS said...

      oho kad padirbejai, niu ir saunuole, pradejau skaityri, bet supratau kad reiks vertimo palaukti, kad gerai viska suprasti, nes dabar kai ka suprantu kai kas vis dar mistika :) :) :)

      Agneja said...

      Aciu, Irma!

      Aurelija said...

      Irma, tu man pasakyk, KUR TU GAUNI LAIKO??? :D
      Super darbas atliktas, labai ačiū.
      Ir labai noriu paprašyti. Jei darysi vertimą, ar galėsi leisti įkelti tavo šį straipsnį į dienoraštį???? Būčiau be galo dėkinga, nes informacija iš ties labai naudinga :O :O

      Irma said...

      Ačiū :)
      Taip smagu kad mano pastangos neveltui.
      Šio straipsnio vertimui į lietuvių k. jau esa pasirašius nemaža komandą talkininkių. Kada straipsnis bus paruoštas, talpinsiu į ScrapManiją.
      Aurelija: pakolkas kol dar nežinau konkrečių planų šiam straipsniui, pageidauju išlaikyti autorines teises. Vertimas bus talpintas tiktai Scrapmanijoj, bet būčiau l.l. labai dėkinga, jeigu įmestumėte nuorodą iš savo blogų, dienoraščių, ar forumų į šį straipsnį ScrapManijoj ;)
      Dėkoju visom!

      Lawrute said...

      Aciu!!!! Tu nuostabi!!! ir tavo patirtis labai vertinga!!!

      Lawrute said...

      ACIU!!! tu nuostabi!!! ir tavo patirtis labai vertinga!!!

      Bitela said...

      Didžiulis ačiū už tokį mega straipsnį su laaabai daug vertingos informacijos:) Surijau visą vienu ypu ir baigus norėjau dar:)
      P.S. Iškilo klausimas, 14 punkte minėjai "clear/color acetate sheets", kokia čia medžiaga, kažkaip neatsirenku kas tai galėtų būt?

      Irma said...

      Ačiū merginos ;)
      Bitela, acetate yra skaidri plastika (acid free-be rugsciu, tad nekenksminga nuotraukom).
      čia pasižiūrėk pavyz:

      Aiva said...

      Mamma mia, koks milžiniškas, kilometrinis straipsnis, kiek pastangų pareikalavęs darbas! O_O

      Bet aš laukiu vertimo, su nekantrumu, labai labai laukiu....

      Irma said...

      *Lithuanian translation can be found at the following link:

      * Šis straipsnis yra išverstas į lietuvių kalbą ir talpintas čia: